STAND. COM. REP. NO. 410
RE: S.B. No. 529
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 529 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO RECORDINGS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Establish the right of persons to record law enforcement activities; and
(2) Establish a private right of action for violations of the right.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of the Public Defender, American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i, Young Progressives Demanding Action, and two individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General.
Your Committee finds that Hawaii law and the United States Constitution afford an individual the right to record law enforcement officers. However, there is nothing to prevent law enforcement from interfering with an individual's right to do so. Without consequences, law enforcement may continue to unconstitutionally prevent individuals from recording their activities. This measure will ensure that individuals have the right to record law enforcement activities and create a civil cause of action if law enforcement interferes with that right.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Specifying that "law enforcement officer" means any public servant, whether employed by the State or subdivisions thereof or by the United States, vested by law with a duty to maintain public order or, to make arrests for offenses or to enforce the criminal laws, whether that duty extends to all offenses or is limited to a specific class of offenses; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 529, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 529, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs,
CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair